Shogun (literally, "a commander of a force") is a military rank and historical title for (in most cases) hereditary military dictator of Japan. The modern rank is equivalent to a Generalissimo. Although the original meaning of "shogun" is simply "a general", as a title, it is used as the short form of seii taishōgun, the governing individual at various times in the history of Japan, ending when Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished the office to the Meiji Emperor in 1867.
A shogun's office or administration is known in English as a "shogunate". In Japanese it was known as bakufu which literally means "tent office", and originally meant "house of the general", and later also suggested a private government. Bakufu could also mean "tent government" and was the way the government was run under a shogun. The tent symbolized the field commander but also denoted that such an office was meant to be temporary. The shogun's officials were as a collective the bakufu, and were those who carried out the actual duties of administration while the Imperial court retained only nominal authority.
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